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Leviticus 25 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 25

The Sabbatical Year. The Lord said to Moses on Mount Sinai: [a]Speak to the Israelites and tell them: When you enter the land that I am giving you, let the land, too, keep a sabbath for the Lord. For six years you may sow your field, and for six years prune your vineyard, gathering in their produce. But during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath of complete rest, a sabbath for the Lord, when you may neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. The aftergrowth of your harvest you shall not reap, nor shall you pick the grapes of your untrimmed vines. It shall be a year of rest for the land. While the land has its sabbath, all its produce will be food to eat for you yourself and for your male and female slave, for your laborer and the tenant who live with you, and likewise for your livestock and for the wild animals on your land.

The Jubilee Year. [b]You shall count seven weeks of years—seven times seven years—such that the seven weeks of years amount to forty-nine years. Then, on the tenth day of the seventh month[c] let the ram’s horn resound; on this, the Day of Atonement, the ram’s horn blast shall resound throughout your land. 10 You shall treat this fiftieth year as sacred. You shall proclaim liberty in the land for all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to your own property, each of you to your own family. 11 This fiftieth year is your year of jubilee; you shall not sow, nor shall you reap the aftergrowth or pick the untrimmed vines, 12 since this is the jubilee. It shall be sacred for you. You may only eat what the field yields of itself.

13 In this year of jubilee, then, each of you shall return to your own property. 14 Therefore, when you sell any land to your neighbor or buy any from your neighbor, do not deal unfairly with one another. 15 On the basis of the number of years since the last jubilee you shall purchase the land from your neighbor; and so also, on the basis of the number of years of harvest, that person shall sell it to you. 16 When the years are many, the price shall be so much the more; when the years are few, the price shall be so much the less. For it is really the number of harvests that the person sells you. 17 Do not deal unfairly with one another, then; but stand in fear of your God. I, the Lord, am your God.

18 Observe my statutes and be careful to keep my ordinances, so that you will dwell securely in the land. 19 The land will yield its fruit and you will eat your fill, and live there securely. 20 And if you say, “What shall we eat in the seventh year, if we do not sow or reap our crop?” 21 I will command such a blessing for you in the sixth year that there will be crop enough for three years, 22 and when you sow in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the old crop; even into the ninth year, until the crop comes in, you will still be eating from the old crop.

Redemption of Property.[d] 23 The land shall not be sold irrevocably; for the land is mine, and you are but resident aliens and under my authority. 24 Therefore, in every part of the country that you occupy, you must permit the land to be redeemed. 25 When one of your kindred is reduced to poverty and has to sell some property, that person’s closest relative,[e] who has the duty to redeem it, shall come and redeem what the relative has sold. 26 If, however, the person has no relative to redeem it, but later on acquires sufficient means to redeem it, 27 the person shall calculate the years since the sale, return the balance to the one to whom it was sold, and thus regain the property. 28 But if the person does not acquire sufficient means to buy back the land, what was sold shall remain in the possession of the purchaser until the year of the jubilee, when it must be released and returned to the original owner.

29 [f]When someone sells a dwelling in a walled town, it can be redeemed up to a full year after its sale—the redemption period is one year. 30 But if such a house in a walled town has not been redeemed at the end of a full year, it shall belong irrevocably to the purchaser throughout the generations; it shall not be released in the jubilee. 31 However, houses in villages that are not encircled by walls shall be reckoned as part of the surrounding farm land; they may be redeemed, and in the jubilee they must be released.

32 [g]In levitical cities the Levites shall always have the right to redeem the houses in the cities that are in their possession. 33 As for levitical property that goes unredeemed—houses sold in cities of their possession shall be released in the jubilee; for the houses in levitical cities are their possession in the midst of the Israelites. 34 Moreover, the pasture land belonging to their cities shall not be sold at all; it must always remain their possession.

35 When one of your kindred is reduced to poverty and becomes indebted to you, you shall support that person like a resident alien; let your kindred live with you. 36 Do not exact interest in advance or accrued interest,[h] but out of fear of God let your kindred live with you. 37 Do not give your money at interest or your food at a profit. 38 I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.

39 [i]When your kindred with you, having been so reduced to poverty, sell themselves to you, do not make them work as slaves. 40 Rather, let them be like laborers or like your tenants, working with you until the jubilee year, 41 when, together with any children, they shall be released from your service and return to their family and to their ancestral property. 42 Since they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, they shall not sell themselves as slaves are sold. 43 Do not lord it over them harshly, but stand in fear of your God.

44 [j]The male and female slaves that you possess—these you shall acquire from the nations round about you. 45 You may also acquire them from among the resident aliens who reside with you, and from their families who are with you, those whom they bore in your land. These you may possess, 46 and bequeath to your children as their hereditary possession forever. You may treat them as slaves. But none of you shall lord it harshly over any of your fellow Israelites.

47 When your kindred, having been so reduced to poverty, sell themselves to a resident alien who has become wealthy or to descendants of a resident alien’s family, 48 even after having sold themselves, they still may be redeemed by one of their kindred, 49 by an uncle or cousin, or by some other relative from their family; or, having acquired the means, they may pay the redemption price themselves. 50 With the purchaser they shall compute the years from the sale to the jubilee, distributing the sale price over these years as though they had been hired as laborers. 51 The more years there are, the more of the sale price they shall pay back as the redemption price; 52 the fewer years there are before the jubilee year, the more they have as credit; in proportion to the years of service they shall pay the redemption price. 53 The tenant alien shall treat those who sold themselves as laborers hired on an annual basis, and the alien shall not lord it over them harshly before your very eyes. 54 And if they are not redeemed by these means, they shall nevertheless be released, together with any children, in the jubilee year. 55 For the Israelites belong to me as servants; they are my servants, whom I brought out of the land of Egypt, I, the Lord, your God.

Footnotes:

  1. 25:2–7 As every seventh day is to be a day of rest (cf. 23:3), so every seventh year is a year of rest (cf. 26:34–35, 43). The rest consists in not doing agricultural work. The people are to live off what grows naturally in the fields (vv. 6–7). Verses 19–22 add insurance by saying that God will make the sixth-year crop abundant such that its excess will stretch over the seventh sabbatical year as well as the eighth year when new crops are not yet harvested (cf. 26:10). Cf. Ex 23:10–11.
  2. 25:8–17 The fiftieth year is the jubilee, determined by counting off “seven weeks of years.” It is sacred, like the sabbath day. Specifically, in it indentured Israelites return to their own households and land that has been sold returns to its original owner. Different laws are found in Ex 21:1–6; Dt 15:1–3, 12–18 (cf. Jer 34:8–22).
  3. 25:9 Seventh month: the priestly laws reflect the use of two calendars, one starting in the spring (cf. chap. 23) and one in the fall. The jubilee is calculated on the basis of the latter. Ram’s horn: Hebrew shophar. The name for the year, jubilee (Heb. yobel), also means “ram’s horn” and comes from the horn blown to announce the occasion.
  4. 25:23–55 This is a series of laws dealing mainly with situations of poverty in which one has to sell land, obtain a loan, or become indentured. Many of the laws are connected with the release of debts in the jubilee year.
  5. 25:25 A close family member is responsible for redemption. Some of these are specified in v. 49.
  6. 25:29–31 Not being able to redeem a house in a walled city after one year is probably due to the demographic and economic situation of large towns as opposed to small villages and open agricultural areas. The agricultural lands associated with the latter were the foundation for the economic viability of the Israelite family, and as such, God—who is the ultimate owner of the land (25:23)—has assigned them to the Israelites as permanent holdings.
  7. 25:32–34 An exception to the rule in vv. 29–31 is made for levitical cities (Nm 35:1–8), since the Levites have no broad land holdings. Their houses can be redeemed and are to be released in the jubilee year.
  8. 25:36 Interest in advance or accrued interest: two types of interest are mentioned here. The former may refer to interest subtracted from the loaned amount in advance, and the latter, to interest or a payment in addition to the loaned amount.
  9. 25:39–43 Here the individual Israelite has no assets and must become indentured to another Israelite for economic survival. No provision is given for redemption before the jubilee year, though such is probably allowed.
  10. 25:44–46 While Israelites may not be held as permanent slaves (vv. 39–43, 47–55), foreigners may be. They are not released in the jubilee, but may be bequeathed to one’s children. They may be treated as “slaves,” i.e., harshly (cf. Ex 21:20–21).
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Psalm 68 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Psalm 68[a]

The Exodus and Conquest, Pledge of Future Help

For the leader. A psalm of David; a song.

I

[b]May God arise;
    may his enemies be scattered;
    may those who hate him flee before him.
As the smoke is dispersed, disperse them;
    as wax is melted by fire,
    so may the wicked perish before God.
Then the just will be glad;
    they will rejoice before God;
    they will celebrate with great joy.

II

Sing to God, praise his name;
    exalt the rider of the clouds.[c]
Rejoice before him
    whose name is the Lord.
Father of the fatherless, defender of widows
    God in his holy abode,
God gives a home to the forsaken,
    who leads prisoners out to prosperity,
    while rebels live in the desert.[d]

III

God, when you went forth before your people,
    when you marched through the desert,
Selah
The earth quaked, the heavens poured,
    before God, the One of Sinai,
    before God, the God of Israel.
10 You poured abundant rains, God,
    your inheritance was weak and you repaired it.
11 Your creatures dwelt in it;
    you will establish it in your goodness for the poor, O God.

IV

12 The Lord announced:
    “Those bringing news are a great Army.
13     The kings of the armies are in desperate flight.
Every household will share the spoil,
14     though you lie down among the sheepfolds,
    you shall be covered with silver as the wings of a dove,
    her feathers bright as fine gold.”
15 When the Almighty routs the kings there,
    it will be as when snow fell on Zalmon.[e]

V

16 You mountain of God, mountain of Bashan,
    you rugged mountain, mountain of Bashan,
17 You rugged mountains, why look with envy
    at the mountain[f] where God has chosen to dwell,
    where the Lord resides forever?
18 God’s chariots were myriad, thousands upon thousands;
    from Sinai the Lord entered the holy place.
19 You went up to its lofty height;
    you took captives, received slaves as tribute,
    even rebels, for the Lord God to dwell.

VI

20 Blessed be the Lord day by day,
    God, our salvation, who carries us.
Selah
21 Our God is a God who saves;
    escape from death is the Lord God’s.
22 God will crush the heads of his enemies,
    the hairy scalp of the one who walks in sin.
23 The Lord has said:
    “Even from Bashan I will fetch them,
    fetch them even from the depths of the sea.[g]
24 You will wash your feet in your enemy’s blood;
    the tongues of your dogs will lap it up.”

VII

25 [h]Your procession comes into view, O God,
    your procession into the holy place, my God and king.
26 The singers go first, the harpists follow;
    in their midst girls sound the timbrels.
27 In your choirs, bless God;
    Lord, Israel’s fountain.
28 In the lead is Benjamin, few in number;
    there the princes of Judah, a large throng,
    the princes of Zebulun, the princes of Naphtali, too.

VIII

29 Summon again, O God, your power,
    the divine power you once showed for us,
30 From your temple on behalf of Jerusalem,
    that kings may bring you tribute.
31 Roar at the wild beast of the reeds,[i]
    the herd of mighty bulls, the calves of the peoples;
    trampling those who lust after silver
    scatter the peoples that delight in war.
32 Let bronze be brought from Egypt,
    Ethiopia hurry its hands to God.

IX

33 You kingdoms of the earth, sing to God;
    chant the praises of the Lord,
Selah
34 Who rides the heights of the ancient heavens,
    Who sends forth his voice as a mighty voice?
35 Confess the power of God,
    whose majesty protects Israel,
    whose power is in the sky.
36 Awesome is God in his holy place,
    the God of Israel,
    who gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!

Footnotes:

  1. Psalm 68 The Psalm is extremely difficult because the Hebrew text is badly preserved and the ceremony that it describes is uncertain. The translation assumes the Psalm accompanied the early autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth), which included a procession of the tribes (Ps 68:25–28). Israel was being oppressed by a foreign power, perhaps Egypt (Ps 68:31–32)—unless Egypt stands for any oppressor. The Psalm may have been composed from segments of ancient poems, which would explain why the transitions are implied rather than explicitly stated. At any rate, Ps 68:2 is based on Nm 10:35–36, and Ps 68:8–9 are derived from Jgs 5:4–5. The argument develops in nine stanzas (each of three to five poetic lines): 1. confidence that God will destroy Israel’s enemies (Ps 68:2–4); 2. call to praise God as savior (Ps 68:5–7); 3. God’s initial rescue of Israel from Egypt (Ps 68:8), the Sinai encounter (Ps 68:9), and the settlement in Canaan (Ps 68:10–11); 4. the defeat of the Canaanite kings (Ps 68:12–15); 5. the taking of Jerusalem, where Israel’s God will rule the world (Ps 68:16–19); 6. praise for God’s past help and for the future interventions that will be modeled on the ancient exodus-conquest (Ps 68:20–24); 7. procession at the Feast of Tabernacles (Ps 68:25–28); 8. prayer that the defeated enemies bring tribute to the Temple (Ps 68:29–32); 9. invitation for all kingdoms to praise Israel’s God (Ps 68:33–35).
  2. 68:2 The opening line alluding to Nm 10:35 makes clear that God’s assistance in the period of the exodus and conquest is the model and assurance of all future divine help.
  3. 68:5 Exalt the rider of the clouds: God’s intervention is in the imagery of Canaanite myth in which the storm-god mounted the storm clouds to ride to battle. Such theophanies occur throughout the Psalm: Ps 68:2–3, 8–10, 12–15, 18–19, 22–24, 29–32, 34–35. See Dt 33:26; Ps 18:8–16; Is 19:1.
  4. 68:7 While rebels live in the desert: rebels must live in the arid desert, whereas God’s people will live in the well-watered land (Ps 68:8–11).
  5. 68:15 Zalmon: generally taken as the name of a mountain where snow is visible in winter, perhaps to be located in the Golan Heights or in the mountains of Bashan or Hauran east of the Sea of Galilee.
  6. 68:17 The mountain: Mount Zion, the site of the Temple.
  7. 68:23 Even from Bashan…from the depths of the sea: the heights and the depths, the farthest places where enemies might flee.
  8. 68:25–28 Your procession: the procession renews God’s original taking up of residence on Zion, described in Ps 68:16–19.
  9. 68:31 The wild beast of the reeds: probably the Nile crocodile, a symbol for Egypt; see Ps 68:32 and Ez 29:2–5.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Acts 7:31-60 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

31 When Moses saw it, he was amazed at the sight, and as he drew near to look at it, the voice of the Lord came, 32 ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob.’ Then Moses, trembling, did not dare to look at it. 33 But the Lord said to him, ‘Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. 34 I have witnessed the affliction of my people in Egypt and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them. Come now, I will send you to Egypt.’ 35 This Moses, whom they had rejected with the words, ‘Who appointed you ruler and judge?’ God sent as [both] ruler and deliverer, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush. 36 This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, at the Red Sea, and in the desert for forty years. 37 It was this Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you, from among your own kinsfolk, a prophet like me.’ 38 It was he who, in the assembly in the desert, was with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai and with our ancestors, and he received living utterances to hand on to us.

39 “Our ancestors were unwilling to obey him; instead, they pushed him aside and in their hearts turned back to Egypt, 40 saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods who will be our leaders. As for that Moses who led us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has happened to him.’ 41 So they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifice to the idol, and reveled in the works of their hands. 42 Then God turned and handed them over to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the prophets:

‘Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings
    for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?
43 No, you took up the tent of Moloch
    and the star of [your] god Rephan,
        the images that you made to worship.
So I shall take you into exile beyond Babylon.’

44 Our ancestors had the tent of testimony in the desert just as the One who spoke to Moses directed him to make it according to the pattern he had seen. 45 Our ancestors who inherited it brought it with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out from before our ancestors, up to the time of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked that he might find a dwelling place for the house of Jacob. 47 But Solomon built a house for him. 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by human hands. As the prophet says:

49 ‘The heavens are my throne,
    the earth is my footstool.
What kind of house can you build for me?
    says the Lord,
    or what is to be my resting place?
50 Did not my hand make all these things?’

Conclusion. 51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always oppose the holy Spirit; you are just like your ancestors. 52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They put to death those who foretold the coming of the righteous one, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become. 53 You received the law as transmitted by angels, but you did not observe it.”

Stephen’s Martyrdom. 54 When they heard this, they were infuriated, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, filled with the holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,[a] 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears,[b] and rushed upon him together. 58 They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him. The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”[c] 60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them”; and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Footnotes:

  1. 7:55 He…saw…Jesus standing at the right hand of God: Stephen affirms to the Sanhedrin that the prophecy Jesus made before them has been fulfilled (Mk 14:62).
  2. 7:57 Covered their ears: Stephen’s declaration, like that of Jesus, is a scandal to the court, which regards it as blasphemy.
  3. 7:59 Compare Lk 23:34, 46.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

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